Archive for random rab

Sea of Dreams: New Years Eve in San Francisco

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2010 by worldromper

Sea of Dreams

For New Year’s Eve I headed north to San Francisco for the 10th Annual Sea of Dreams, which in my musical opinion had the best lineup of any NYE party in North America, and possibly the world. I know there are some people seemingly stuck on the rivalry between SF and LA, but I love both cities. Each metropolis has its own unique energy and colorful style, and each underground electronic music community has a distinct flavor. For San Francisco it is the taste of a crunchy rainbow, of a slap-happy trip into psychedelica and I was stoked for a change of pace as well as for the road trip up the 101.

Entrance to Sea of Dreams

Getting in to Sea of Dreams was a breeze; they had amusement park-type lines separated in stacks for the rush of revelers and plenty of gate employees, a welcome relief for anyone who has ever stood in a party line for an hour or more in the cold. I would like to see all promoters of large events enact this entry system. Bravo.

Once inside I quickly sunk into the heady vibe of the party; rave ON. The San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center was huge! Soaring ceilings added a cathedral-like atmosphere to the venue and necks craned upward to try and take in the whole of the sacred space.

That’s why I was there- to worship at the altar of dance. Today we create our own temples of the sacred with our people and our energy, and the divine nature of play was on full display this holiday night, elevated to new heights in the tall venue. Stretching wide was plenty of open space to run around and jump in, to go nomad and wander the playground like a gypsy. The coat check line was way too long for me so I shoved my coat down into a flower pot and forgot about it until 5AM.

The Do LaB Stage- Can you find the DJ?

I was immediately drawn to The Do LaB stage, with a giant bright green and brown tree that snaked its way up the side of the lobby, growing into the ceiling with branches that overhung our bouncing heads and dripped ripe red teardrop-fruit over the dance floor.

Hot Chicks

Like a Keebler Elf making bass biscuits, the DJ was entrenched in the tree trunk. The dance floor, though not the smallest of the venue, was the most intimate, more organic and set down in a notch. It was like a little wooded knoll, with a staircase in back leading up to the Silent Disco, providing a balcony for looky-loos. In the middle of the dance floor was a big box where girls, and some guys, were dancing and strutting around, a talent they have trained to the teeth in San Francisco. Strut Francisco.

Despite the sound which seemed a little too quiet for a Funktion One, The Do LaB stage was my favorite of the night and where I began and ended my evening, journeying out and then returning to my grotto-home under the leaves. Dee was playing when I first arrived, then soon Ana Sia took over and delivered juicy jams until the midnight countdown. Everyone shook off the old year like a disturbing dream and dove into 2010. Hooray for new beginnings!

Cirqularious Aerialists

In the middle of the giant venue were three more stages: the Lunasea Stage, the Hookahdome and a smaller Circus Stage from which aerialists performed their limber daredevil acts above the crowd, of which I caught a bit of Cirqularious. The Lunasea Stage, the larger of the three, continued after midnight with lineup of the Glitch Mob, Ghostland Observatory and EOTO- not bad!

Lunasea Stage, The Glitch Mob

For the Glitch Mob I was right up front and to the right in a throbbing mess of sweaty, screaming bodies and one would-be bag thief who I punked in the act. The Glitch Mob, maybe not as brassy as in the past, played a hard-hitting set with a nice slice of new tracks and some old favorites as well. Near the end of their set, a thick sheet of wind blew out from the stage, throwing onto the dance floor a million pieces of ticker-tape from the midnight balloon drop and other assorted trash along with a fat slap of cool air. We cheered.

Pathway with Temple

On the next stage over Ozomatli was destroying shit with wild abandon, I moved around a bit but found myself returning to the Glitch Mob stage. All around the venue were lounges and places to chill, stairs to climb and goon out over the dance floor, a Silent Disco up top (which I skipped), shitty $5 pizza (for the empty stomach), $10 mixed drinks (I bought one and promptly dropped it on the dance floor), and hippie-

Mountain over Lunasea Stage

paraphernalia vendors including my good friend Raja from Seattle who I was very excited to bump into- you probably know him as The Hologram Man, and his art booth is always more of a party than a sales floor. Next to a tea house was one of the ornate temples from Symbiosis Gathering, and bejeweled bodies decked out in velvet and satiny materials hung from the ceiling, twisted and sparkling.

Further decorating the venue besides those glorious stacks of speakers were huge, 30′ tall glowing paper lanterns lit with lasers, undersea motifs like fish and sea floor drudge, and soaring above the center was a mountain made of white strips of material and dusted with visual stimuli. The affect was really neat and encompassing (at one point I swear I was looking at a real mountain) and made you forget that you were in some sterile convention hall completely.

The flow of the party was fantastic- I think a lot of promoters overlook this and their shows resemble fruit basket turnovers with no cohesive fluidity to the performers or the tempos. But Sea of Dreams staggered the stages them beautifully, allowing each area to rest a bit like a fallow field between artists and dispersing the crowd to check out other acts.

Galaxea Stage, Bassnectar

After the Glitch Mob, Bassnectar went on at the giant Galaxea Stage in the East Hall, whose dance floor was lorded over by immense taloned rockets poised to drill down into the crowd, changing colors every second with the beats. I headed to the back of the crowd in front of the sound guys for a change of pace from the frontline of the Glitch Mob.

Feathers? Headbands? In San Francisco? Weird

Bassnectar slammed our faces off, as usual. His sets seem to lean a certain direction, depending on whether he is playing outside or inside. His outside sets are more trippy and wandering, and his inside sets are more brutally slamming and, dare I say it- curved to appeal to more mainstream audience members who would probably not trek to a festival, but might buy a ticket to a city show.

I love Bassnectar, for the record. I always enjoy his sets and his is the only music that has ever inspired me to rip my clothes off on the dance floor. However sometimes I think that Bassnectar plays too little Bassnectar, oddly enough. If I wanted to hear “More Human Than Human” I would go back to high school and kill myself. But I did want to hear new tracks from Cozza Frenzy and his Pixies remix which he delivered, and I stood in the back and danced my little heart out. With my clothes on.

Lunasea Stage, EOTO

On the neighboring stage Ghostland Observatory was playing and I was bouncing back and forth a bit, but then EOTO came on. WOW these two guys get my prize for best act of the night. EOTO was doing amazing things with a drum kit and live electronics on a small raised platform in the front of the room and people were freaking out. There is dancing, and then there is freaking out. EOTO was just JAMMIN, playing a super high energy set, and the crowd was also super high so shit was really working out. They were just grinding the sound out, and I was pulled into the performance and could almost not walk away.

Lovers in front of Silent Disco, looking down on The Do Lab Stage

But I did, back over to the East Stage where Random Rab was elegantly dreaming up a new musical story and Andrew Jones was creating his magic electronic art. This one act alone would be enough to call me out for an evening. In the Hookahdome, a smaller and more enclosed stage, more room-like and sweaty and dirty was playing (of course) some juicy dubstep out of Jef Stott.

Making my way back to The Do Lab stage, Lowriderz featuring an-ten-nae and Laura had the crowd popping and Shawna took over the reins from there. We continued to dance until 5AM when we spilled out into the first early-morning air of 2010, taking deep breaths of the next decade, which stretched out before us in unknown paths- which are the best kind, of course.

Thank you beautiful party people freaks!

Thank you Sea of Dreams. Like any large-scale party there was a fair share of pushing in the hot crowds, but the cool open space of the venue calmed things down between stages and provided plenty of room to roam. I heard people comment that they thought the ticket price was well worth the show- a rarity when everyone is so damn broke these days.

Sea of Dreams had soul. I am careful about which massives I go to as many are just artfully designed money-making machines that throw up some lasers and sound, invite a couple thousand people and call it good. And it is good. But to be a great party, the promoters must care about the entire experience and the vibe produced by the artists and the crowd; you can feel it when it’s there. Sea of Dreams had it, and I entered into 2010 with some of the freshest new sounds of the impending decade bouncing in my brain. I have a renewed appreciation for life here on the West Coast as well as for my international electronic music community, and have a feeling that I will be making the short journey between LA and San Francisco far more often in the years to come.

Shilo’s December Events

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2009 by worldromper

HOLY FRICKIN’ HOLIDAZE I can’t believe 2009 is almost gone. This time last year, I wasn’t even considering moving to LA. And yet here I am now, smack in the middle of the most creative and exciting underground electronic scene in the world!

December is always party season, and this year is no exception. I keep this post updated and added to throughout the month and you can find it by looking in the right-hand column on my main page under “Shilo’s Event Calendar.”

  • Dec 2: Low End Theory Family Reunion w/Gaslamp Killer, Daddy Kev, Nobody, Nocando + special guests TBA
  • Dec 3: The Do Lab presents Solvent, Michna & Kether at King King
  • Dec 3: Respect presents Genr8 & Kuru
  • Dec 4: Culprit & Throne of Blood presents DJ Kaos, Soul Clap, TK Disko & Droog @ TS2
  • Dec 4: BWOMP presents Dubstep.FM Invades LA w/Dopelabs, HD4000, EMU & SURPRISE GUEST @ TBA
  • Dec 4: Nosaj Thing & Low Limit of Lazer Sword @ The Changing Same (San Jose)
  • Dec 4: CONTROL @ Avalon w/AC Slater & DJ Craze
  • Dec 5: Mark Farina @ Vanguard
  • Dec 5: KRS-One @ The Roxy
  • Dec 5: Winter Fresh Festival w/Datsik, The Toxic Avenger & much more @ the Pico Rivera Sports Arena
  • Dec 9: Low End Theory with Busdriver, Oscar McClure, Bossasaurus, Asura & residents
  • Dec 9: Lucent Dossier Experience @ H.Wood (every Wednesday)
  • Dec 10: I AM A LASER with Ana Sia and Deru @ Club Nokia Mezzanine Lounge
  • Dec 10: Made to Play with Jesse Rose, Riva Starr, Zombie Disco Squad & more @ the Roxy
  • Dec 10: Respect w/Everfresh, Whizard B2B Circuit, Machete, MC XYZ @ Dragonfly
  • Dec 10: Dopelabs, Them Cargo Pants, Knorsq & Tealong @ The Crosby
  • Dec 11: Chicks with Decks: Michele Bass, Imagika, Porter Tinsely & more @ Area 33
  • Dec 11: CONTROL @ Avalon w/Etienne de Crecy
  • Dec 11: Ewan Pearson & Droog at TS2
  • Dec 12: Pantheon pres. Elves and Hos Xmas Party w/Mimosa, Jesse Wright, Porter Tinsley & more @ Area 33
  • Dec 12: Gaslamp Killer @ The Echoplex
  • Dec 12: Derick Carter, Luke Solomon, John Graham @ Avaland @ Avalon
  • Dec 12: Hear 008 1-Year Anniversary w/Mark Henning, Drumcell, Jeremy P. Caulfield @ TBA
  • Dec 12: Love Fix w/Mark E Quark, Xavier de Enciso, Alex Villalobos, Victor Carrillo & more @ TBA
  • Dec 13: BRAINFEEDER Sessions w/Nosaj Thing Visual Show Premier, Eskmo, Mono/Poly, Gaslamp Killer, Strangeloop, Kutmah, Teebs & more @ the Downtown Independent
  • Dec 16: Low End Theory w/Sole & the Skyrider Band, Mono/Poly & residents
  • Dec 18: BLVD, Souleye, AdamandEvil, Mid City West @ The Stronghold Building (Venice)
  • Dec 18: Out of Asia w/Reid Speed, Gridlock, HD4000 & more @ TBA
  • Dec 18: CONTROL @ Avalon w/Armand van Helden
  • Dec 18: Obey pres. Brainfeeder & MHD takeover of the Crosby w/SamIYam, Ras G, Tokimonsta & My Hollow Drum (OC)
  • Dec 18: Ugly Sweater Party with BOUNCY HOUSE arriving at 5AM
  • Dec 19: Sqysh Fysh: A Nightmare Before Xmas w/Knowa Knowone, Pumpkin, Brion Charles & Gabe (BM Art Car fundraiser)
  • Dec 19: LA Record Christmas Party with Daedelus, Daddy Kev, Nobody, Take, MatthewDavid & LOTS more @ Bedrock, FREE w/TOY & RSVP here.
  • Dec 19: Infected Mushroom @ Avalon. Read my interview with Infected Mushroom
  • Dec 20: Winter Solstice Party w/Jega, Deru, Kraddy & Tom Burbank @ Air Conditioned Supper Club in Venice
  • Dec 22: Plug Research 2010 w/Daedelus, J.Rocc, Kutmah, surprise guests & more @ Echoplex
  • Dec 23: Low End Theory w/Ras G, SamIYam, Lorn, Teebs & residents
  • Dec 24: A Kilowatts Kristamas Eve feat. Kilowatts live, Treavor, Brian Saitzyk, Stephan Jacobs, Bartek @ Area 33 (Culver City)
  • Dec 25: MERRY CHRISTMAS SMOKE A FATTIE
  • Dec 26: Pure Filth presents BASSFACE w/DLX, Flying Lotus, Daedelus, Daddy Kev, 6Blocc, The Professionals, Magi, Remo, Metaphase, Kemst & MC1
  • Dec 29: Dubtroit 1-Year Anniversary w/DJ KMO, 12th Planet & more TBA
  • Dec 30: Low End Theory w/Tokimonsta, 6Blocc, Mr. Fantastic & residents
  • Dec 31: Sea of Dreams in SF w/Glitch Mob, Ozomatli, Bassnectar, Ghostland Observatory, Yard Dogs Road Show, EOTO, Lynx & Janover, Random Rab, Marty Party, Ana Sia, an-ten-nae, David Starfire & more
  • Dec 31: Gaslamp Killer, Chromeo & Peanut Butter Wolf @ Club Nokia
  • Dec 31: New Year’s Eve 2010 Together As One w/David Guetta, John Digweed, Dubfire, Sander Kleinenberg & more @ Los Angeles Sport Arena
  • Dec 31: HARD New Year’s Eve w/Boys Noize, A-Trak, DJ Mehdi, Destructo & more @ The Palladium
  • Dec 31: Lunar New Years Eve @ TBA w/Cesare vs. Disorder, Mikael Stavostrand, Acid Circus, Drumcell & more

New Year’s Eve: Sea of Dreams in San Francisco

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by worldromper

Deciding what to do on a big party holiday like New Year’s Eve is always difficult; with 8 million events going on, it can be next to impossible to figure out where to spend your time and money. But when in doubt, do what I do: go where the best music is.

2010 will find me awash in a Sea of Dreams in San Francisco, dancing to an excellent selection of sights and sounds from the underground West Coast arts scene, enjoying circus performers, art installations and:

  • Ozomatli
  • Bassnectar
  • Ghostland Observatory
  • Yard Dogs Road Show
  • Glitch Mob
  • Marty Party
  • Random Rab
  • an-ten-nae
  • Ana Sia
  • EOTO
  • Motion Potion
  • and more…click here for full lineup.

The 10th Annual Sea of Dreams New Year’s Eve-olutionary Extravaganza will be held December 31 from 8PM-4AM at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco; tickets start at $75 and are available here.

Shilo’s November Events

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2009 by worldromper

Samhain, November 1, always indicates new cycles and fresh beginnings in my life, and this year seems to be no different. Here’s to autumn in LA!

As always, I keep this post updated and added to throughout the month and you can find it by looking in the right-hand column on my main page under “Shilo’s Event Calendar.”

  • 3: Wisp, Naha, Schlage & more @ Technique @ Zanzibar
  • 3: Jogger, Daedelus, Buraka Som Sistema, Jokers of the Scene & more @ Cinespace in Hollyweird. Free vodka 10-11PM.
  • 4: Low End Theory Special Ableton Event w/Thavius Beck, Sweatson Klank, MatthewDavid
  • 6: Kraddy
  • 7: Other People’s Money w/Vibesquad, Datsik, Subvert, Excision, Propa Tingz & more @ Nucleus Events Center
  • 8: Brainfeeder Sessions @ Downtown Independent w/Daedelus, Jogger, Gaslamp Killer, Dr. Strangeloop, Jeremy Ellis, Teebs & Kutmah
  • 10: Random Rab, Imagika & Electric Dandelion @ Zanzibar
  • 11: Low End Theory: My Hollow Drum, Kutmah, Devonwho
  • 11: Deru, Blockhead, AmpLive & Yppah @ The Echo
  • 12: The Do Lab presents Bluetech, Mimosa & Electric Dandelion @ King King
  • 12: I AM A LASER with Take, R/D, LC & Souleye at Club Nokia upstairs
  • 13: Compression w/Robtronik, Drumcell, Vic Carillo @ King King
  • 14: BWOMP presents: Attack of the BASS w/Anitserum, Puppykicker, Ev-1, J-Viz & more @ TBA
  • 18: Low End Theory w/Ghislain Poirier, Rob Luis & Lanu
  • 18: Scion House Party w/Plastician, Mary Anne Hobbs, SCUBA & 12th Planet, FREE w/RSVP
  • 20: Culprit & Hear w/Anthony Collins, Sammy Dee, Droog, Deliquent Frequency @ new venue TS 2
  • 20: Fat Freddy’s Drop @ The Roxy
  • 20: RUSKO, 12th Planet, Mr. White @ Avalon
  • 21: WE THE PEOPLE w/Bad Religion, Glitch Mob, Flobots, LA Riots, Jogger & much more @ Los Angeles Center Studios, downtown
  • 24: Dubtroit w/Pawn, Druley, Rudelgin & more
  • 25: Low End Theory: Daedelus special extended set
  • 25: House of Dub @ House of Blues w/DLX, Pawn, Steady, Kelly Dean, Evol, Pablo Hassan & more
  • 26: HAPPY THANKSGIVING = drinky drinky!
  • 27: Compression 4-Year Anniversary w/Claude Von Stroke & SF Dirtybird Crew
  • 28: Dysfunctional Family w/[a]pendics shuffle, Death by Acid, Alex Villalobos & more @ TBA
  • 28: Pure Filth presents BASSFACE with: JOKER & NOSAJ THING, The Professionals, Novocaine9, Heru!, Kemst, Nomad @ Lot 613

SPAZZ

Photo by Tap Tap Productions.

Nosaj Thing Tours with Bassnectar in November (US)

Posted in Events, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by worldromper

Two of the West Coast’s most in-demand performers are hitting the Mid-States and East Coast together this November when Nosaj Thing joins Bassnectar on the Cozza Frenzy tour; catch them while you can!

  • Nov 3: Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
  • Nov 4: Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
  • Nov 5: Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird Nightclub
  • Nov 6: Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
  • Nov 7: Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
  • Nov 10: Boston @ Paradise Rock Club
  • Nov 12: DC @ 9:30 Club
  • Nov 13: New York @ Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza
  • Nov 14: Philadelphia @ Theatre of the Living Arts
  • Nov 18: Oxford, MA @ The Lyric Oxford
  • Nov 19: Fayetteville, AR @ George’s Majestic Lounge
  • Nov 20: Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note
  • Nov 21: Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall

Cozza_Frenzy-Bassnectar_480Please note, Bassnectar is touring all October and will continue his tour through December, concluding on New Year’s Eve at the ridiculously booked Sea of Dreams with Ozotmatli, the Glitch Mob, Marty Party, an-ten-nae, Random Rab, Ghostland Observatory and more. Only the shows he plays together with Nosaj Thing are listed above; for all of Bassnectar’s tour dates, please click here.

Check out Nosaj Thing’s new album “Drift” out on Alpha Pup Records right here.

Check out Bassnectar’s new album “Cozza Frenzy” right here.

Shilo’s October Events

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by worldromper

Festie season may be drawing to a close, but the new shows and sounds keep rolling in! Starting with the crisp brush of autumn breeze and ending with a Halloween nightcap, October is one of my favorite months- you can smell the mischief in the air! Or maybe that’s a grape blunt.

As always, I keep this post updated and added to throughout the month and you can find it by looking in the right-hand column on my main page under “Shilo’s Event Calendar.”

Here’s what’s going down on Planet Shilo:

  • 1: Respect presents 12th Planet vs. Infiltrata @ Dragonfly
  • 2: Pure Filth presents Bassface w/MRK1, The Professionals, DLX, Remo, Gaslamp Killer & more
  • 3: LA Decompression Festival
  • 3: Space Island Decom After Party/ Oscure, Braden, R/D, Propa Tingz, Henry Strange, Imagika & more
  • 7: Nosaj Thing & Fever Ray @ Henry Fonda Theatre
  • 7: Low End Theory w/Thavius Beck, Waajeed, Geology, Blu Jemz & residents
  • 7: House of Dub @ House of Blues w/Pablo Hassan, Sam XXXL & more
  • 10: Dynagroove w/Drumcell, Smog Stage @ Nucleus
  • 10: Fantasia
  • 14: Pretty Lights @ Key Club
  • 14: Low End Theory w/Dirty Digital Mestizo, Mike Gao & more
  • 15: Smog @ Respect w/Pawn, DLX, Pablo Hassan, MC XYZ & more @ Dragonfly
  • 16: 16Bit & Beyond w/Random Rab, Braden & Mr. Caparro @ AC Supper Club in Venice
  • 17: DROID Behavior 7-Year Anniversary w/Chris Liebing, Kid 606, Drumcell, Deru, Derek Michael, & special guest from Alpha Pup/Planet Mu
  • 20: Pitch Black @ Zanzibar (Santa Monica)
  • 20: Dubtroit w/Seven, DJ Evol, Pawn & Q.45
  • 21: Low End Theory 3-Year Anniversary! Flying Lotus, SamIYam, Dibia$e, Jneiro Jarel, Free the Robots, My Hollow Drum, MatthewDavid, Kutmah, Nobody, Nocando, Daddy Kev
  • 22: The Do Lab presents: Beats Antique, Deru & Jupiter @ King King
  • 24: Droid Behavior presents Acid Circus
  • 24: Smog w/Distance, Noah D, Emu & more
  • 25: I LOVE LA
  • 28: Low End Theory: Jogger Record Release Party with Jogger, Dr. Strangeloop & Ana Sia!
  • 30: Kraak & Smaak @ The Roxy
  • 30: Calling All Kids w/Flying Lotus & friends
  • 30: Hard Haunted Mansion w/Deadmau5, 2MANYDJS & more
  • 31: Halloween 3-D w/Daedelus, Jogger, Tokimonsta, 6Blocc, & more
  • 31: Hard Haunted Mansion w/Justice, Major Lazer, Modeselektor, & more
  • 31: HALLOWEEN! BEST HOLIDAY EVER! I am gonna dress up as a DJ.

AF000801

Symbiosis Gathering Changed My Life

Posted in Events, Festivals, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by worldromper

This is a story of DF5K.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 037It was nearly two years ago now that I moved back to the States from New Zealand. Summer in Seattle was swelling to the crusty-hot days of August and I had a shit job doing shit bartending work at a shit hotel downtown, working long into the night scrubbing bar mats and serving drunk tourists. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing with myself whatsoever. None.

I had never listened to electronic music before in my life.

new zealand is freaking epicWell okay that is not entirely true; I had stumbled upon the dub and reggae scene in New Zealand, and high on rotation in my iPod were Katchafire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Pitch Black and Salmonella Dub as well as anyone who had remixed them. Guys in the Auckland record stores were always happy to school an interested American girl on their island music.

I had also spent many happy nights out on the town with my flatmate Ian, dancing for hours in Auckland’s happenin’ Viaduct area, and had walked home more than once from these “Heels Only” clubs with bleeding feet. Before in my life I had glided past a thousand dance clubs drooling out lame house music onto the streets, but for some reason, I started going in towards the beats and shaking what my momma gave me for the first time ever.

116I left Auckland, and months of traveling around New Zealand led me to discover pockets of counterculture dotted all over the two islands. Tiny camp towns like Marahau, barely even a freckle on the map, are nestled next to insane national parks and were populated by a swirling mix of artsy locals, hikers who were about to tramp the mountains or who had just returned from a month in the bush, world travelers, hippies, neohippies, surfers from Santa Cruz, stoners, seekers, searchers, and freaks like me.

These havens were full of people whose life was centered around sharing art and creating a sustainable and beautiful life, such a stark contrast to most Americans I knew whose only goals seemed to revolve around bigger cars, bigger houses, and more more more.

But soon enough I was back in the US of A and fairly floating through space and time with no plans and no idea whatsoever. I wondered where the beautiful spirits congregated on this continent, and if I would find them.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 033And then a friend invited me to this music and art festival in the woods of Northern California called Symbiosis. It would be a very long day’s drive from Seattle with him and his girlfriend and we would stay for three nights at  place called Angel’s Camp. The festival was focused on sustainability and would be a pack-in, pack-out affair. Did I want to go?

Hell yes I did. I had the slight problem of a jobby-job, but I have never been one to let a bullshit job get in the way of my life. So, I faked pneumonia. I went to the hospital (to be fair I did have a cough) and when the doctor said he could write me a note to get off work for two days, I said, “well, how about until next Tuesday?” The doctor agreed and I was off work for a very long weekend, bound for my first true outdoor party experience.

I think you guys know how this story goes.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 046Arriving early to the isolated location, my friends and I set up our tents in between the two stages, and what happened for the next four days in that remote wooded spot changed my life forever, as I now write to you deep in the thick of what will be my life’s work, writing for and promoting the music that I love and the artists who make it. It was not just the music I experienced that shook my spirit and lit my soul on fire, but the thick saturation of artistic expression and the community around it. It was a haven for freaks like me; I had finally found a home in this life, and it was beautiful.

When I look back at the lineup for Symbiosis 2007, it blows my mind: Shpongle, Flying Lotus, Ott, Bluetech, Glitch Mob, BLVD, Souleye, Ana Sia, Zilla, Lazer Sword, Audiovoid, Danny Corn, Hallucinogen in Dub, Chris de Luca, Mala, Bassnectar and dozens and dozens more. These artists were my first toe-dip into the world of EDM, and I think you can see why I turned out the way I did.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 045I can’t remember if it was the first or second day, but around about five in the morning one night these four guys were up on the second stage, just tearing up the dance floor. They were slamming sound down with such force I thought my neck might break; I had never before experienced any type of music, electronic or otherwise, that was so fresh and unique and unlike anything else out there. I was not hearing this music, I was living it: I was breathless and losing clothes by the minute and probably had a long string of drool dripping off my lower lip.

I turned to a new friend next to me on the dance floor and asked, “What do you call this music? With the really heavy, fucked-up bass?”

You call it GLITCH,” was the reply. And a fiend was born.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 035

Since that night I have seen the Glitch Mob dozens of times and have devoted my life to sharing not just glitch hop and its bass-slutty cousins, but the whole music and art and community experience that has meant so much to me in this life, which I think I can say, a DJ saved.

I returned to Seattle with an insatiable hunger for the beats and began going out six nights a week to electronic music shows, meeting new friends with open arms at every turn. While I might possibly have found another road to the electronic arts that I now so adore, I did not. Symbiosis opened my eyes and set me on my current life path of promoting and writing for musicians and artists. I am eternally grateful for the past, and forever stoked for the future.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 036Now, after a year’s respite, Symbiosis Gathering is back for 2009, this time at Camp Mather on the doorstep to Yosemite from September 17-21 and with a lineup that will slap you across the face, pour fireworks into your soul and call you a cheesemaker. Check the whole lineup here; I am most looking forward to hearing Caspa, Amon Tobin, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, the Glitch Mob, Shpongle, Flying Lotus, Hallucinogen, Mala, N-Type, an-ten-nae, Mimosa, Of Porcelain, Vibesquad, Heyoka, Kether, Lazer Sword, Lipp Service, Souleye, Welder, Random Rab, Babylon System, Jupit3r, Mozaic, Mr. Rogers, R/D, Treavor Moontribe, Sleepyhead, Sexytime, Nikola Baytala, Noah Pred and about eight zillion more.

2007 Fall Seattle DMB Symbiosis Halloween 042I will no doubt discover several new favorites, and I am more excited about this outdoor festival than any other this year. Not to be rash, but I have heard several people talk about how much more fun Symbiosis is than Burning Man. Whoa. That is almost party blasphemy, right?

Whether you are just hearing about Symbiosis Gathering or have been waiting with baited breath for this year’s installment, one thing is certain: the music will blow your mind, stamped and approved by DF5K.

And it just might change your life.